“We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun…” A Farewell to Diving

Highlight of the year, the annual Florida training trip – Liam in silhouette

Dear Liam,

I always believe you were meant to be a diver. I remember the night I entered your room and glanced in at you sleeping peacefully in your crib. Unlike other babies sleeping on their back, side or stomach you were folded over completely, legs straight in front of you, forehead resting on your ankles, perfecting a front dive pike even before you were old enough to walk. When you would would sit in your high chair instead of legs dangling down, one would always be inserted up and over the tray positioned comfortably among the scattered peas, like a double jointed circus performer.

As you grew, you fell in love with the sport. From your very first penny drop on the pool deck at age seven with beloved coach Jeanine, to winning states in high school, to qualifying for nationals during your college years, your talent and dedication were always evident. Everyone who watched you dive was mesmerized. Then and now.

So here you are a senior where you will compete for the very last time during college and possibly your lifetime. I feel you found a great home as a member of the Denison Swim and Dive team with Russ as your amazing coach. The friendships you made will likely last a lifetime. I hope you always look back at your college years and diving career with pride and joy in what you accomplished on and off the boards.

There are many things about how you handled yourself over the years in diving and life for which I am proud; overcoming your fear of learning new dives; wearing your red welts with courage after smacking numerous times on 3 meter; always maintaining a cool demeanor; your solid sportsmanship; accepting that life is not fair when you qualified for nationals but could not attend when it was decided additional swimmers would win the team more points than one sole diver. Then qualifying for nationals once again the next two years only to have the dream shut down due to Covid. You always accepted these disappointments with calmness and dignity as is your nature. You also juggled a fierce work load as a student athlete balancing early AM practices with school work which I know was not easy. I know all these positive traits you possess will serve you well in life though don’t ever be afraid to fight for what you believe in.

So go out into the world and find your happiness. And as you navigate life, consider these tips from the six diving groups that may also help you outside the diving well:

FORWARD: “Sempre Avanti” – Always forward

BACK: “Only look back to see how far you’ve come”

REVERSE: “Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the principle of reverse”

INWARD:    “It’s not about outward appearances but inward significance”

TWISTING: “You can’t drive straight on a twisting road”

ARMSTAND: “If you feel like you have the world on your shoulders, do an armstand and have the world at your feet”

And above all, have fun!

Love, Mom xxo

Published by Kathy Simmons

I am an ex New Yorker who still misses the vibrancy of the city. I seek out the humor in every day life and relay it through my stories in the hope others will appreciate as well. I love to write about growing up with my fantastically unique Irish mother whose memory inspires me every day. Although she is no longer with us, her antics are an endless staple for my tales. I currently live in Connecticut with my husband, two sons and toy fox terrier Anabel.

5 thoughts on ““We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun…” A Farewell to Diving

    1. Sadly, the senior weekend where they were to present these letters to the athletes was cancelled as 20 swimmers tested positive for covid (all asymptomatic) so I am hoping they will have ceremony at later date. Thank you for reading Cheryl🌸

      Liked by 1 person

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